WWE reportedly made a “major offer” to Bryan Danielson in order to get him to remain with the company.
Bryan Danielson, formerly known as Daniel Bryan, enjoyed more than a decade with WWE, before debuting in AEW in September 2021. Danielson had won everything there was to win in the company, and his contract expired on April 30th, the same night that he was “banished” from SmackDown after defeat to Roman Reigns.
At the time it was suggested that WWE were pushing hard to re-sign their now former star but ultimately their efforts were in vein.
A new report has now shed some light on the offer that WWE made to Danielson before he put pen to paper with AEW. The report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, says that the company made a major offer which included the ability for Danielson to work in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
“He was given a major offer to stay. He also got a similar offer from AEW. WWE pushed hard the last few months to get him to sign a long-term deal, and promised him the ability to work New Japan Pro Wrestling, which at the time was a key part of his decision-making process. Vince McMahon even gave him permission to do the G-1 Climax tournament, although it’s most likely McMahon had no idea what it was when he said that. […] Both AEW and WWE offered similar money. WWE was willing to allow him limited dates to give him time home, a major guarantee, among the largest in the company, and the ability to do outside stuff. AEW offered similar.”
Interestingly, Danielson was reportedly at the crux of talks between WWE and New Japan in May, after he had previously been open about wanting to wrestle in other promotions while under contract with WWE.
Bryan Danielson made his AEW debut at All Out confronting The Elite, which included fellow newcomer Adam Cole. This led to a confrontation on Dynamite, where the newcomer forced Kenny Omega to tap out during a brawl.
Speaking after making his debut, Danielson admitted that he would love to wrestle in New Japan. However, he conceded that at least for the time being, quarantine restrictions make an appearance very difficult.